By Ndey Sowe
The Minister of Environment Lamin Dibba, said people’s livelihoods depend on the environment which makes it such an important sector; that without taking proper care of the environment, there will be a host of implications on people’s health and economic wellbeing in their communities.
Dibba made these remarks during the certification ceremony of 40 environmental inspectors, after they successfully completed a one-week professional training. The training is said to come on the heels of the increasing complexity of environmental issues coupled with increasing challenges in enforcing the legal requirements for environmental protection which requires continuous training and capacity development of the said inspectors.
“We are entrusting you with the responsibility to protect the population and the environment from those hazards,” he said; that in doing so, they as the new Inspectors are mandated by Law to do their work.
He described their training as important and timely and for them to know how to execute their functions at all levels. He urged them to be strong and to make sure there is no amount of pressure on them that will restrict them from doing their duties responsibly.
“Your role as Environment Inspectors is to identify potential dangers to our environment within the limits of the Law,” he said, adding they have been empowered by Law to report anybody who is found wanting.
He advised them to be incorruptible in their work; that this can cause them to neglect their legitimate responsibilities and that of their country.
“There are other more activities that we will plan together with the support of the Ministry and other stakeholders to ensure we have a safe environment for every Gambian. Every citizen of the Gambia should be protected from the hazards of environmental deprivation,’’ he said.
He appealed to them to report all illegal activities going on within the forest areas and urged them to understand their terms of reference and execute it to the letter by following the due process of the Law; that regulation must be followed and they must be enforced by the enforcers with adherence to operators. He concluded by congratulating them for successfully completing their training and urged them to take good advantage of the opportunity given them.